Tests and diagnosisBy Mayo Clinic staff
Rocky Mountain spotted fever can be difficult to diagnose because the early signs and symptoms are similar to those caused by many other diseases.
Laboratory tests can check a blood sample, rash specimen or the tick itself for evidence of the organism that causes the infection. Because early treatment with antibiotics is so important, doctors don't wait for these test results before starting treatment if Rocky Mountain fever is strongly suspected.
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- Sexton DJ. Treatment of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed July 18, 2011.
- Preventing tick bites. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/on_people.html. Accessed July 18, 2011.